NBC will use AI version of Al Michaels’s voice for Olympics coverage

NBC announced Wednesday it will use artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate the voice of renowned sportscaster Al Michaels in a new tool meant to complement its traditional coverage of the Olympic Games this summer.

The tool, called “Your Daily Olympic Recap on Peacock,” uses AI software to create a 10-minute personalized playlist of event highlights from the previous day. The daily recap will be narrated by an AI recreation of Michaels’s voice, which, the company said in its press release, “matches his signature expertise and elocution.”

The announcement comes as AI grows more prevalent in everyday life, sparking questions about its role in creative industries, including journalism and media. Michaels seemed to acknowledge those concerns in his press release statement.

“When I was approached about this, I was skeptical but obviously curious,” Michaels said. “Then I saw a demonstration detailing what they had in mind. I said, ‘I’m in.’”

NBC said a team of NBCUniversal editors will review all content, including audio and clips, featured in the recaps “for quality assurance and accuracy before recaps are made available to users.”

NBC said the technology pulls from hundreds of clips produced by NBC Sports each day, totaling 5,000 hours of live coverage from Paris, where sometimes 40 events are taking place at once, according to NBC. The AI technology will allow for nearly 7 million personalized versions of the daily recaps.

The tool will be available to subscribers of NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, where users can access the recaps through the homepage or the Olympics hub. The Opening Ceremony takes place July 27. Personalized daily recaps will be available beginning July 28, after the first full day of events.

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